Marion mulling move to managing its own mowing

City will outsource 2016 grass-cutting, revisit issue for next year

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Marion will continue to contract out its mowing but will revisit whether they want to continue it at the end of the year. The city got two bids for mowing services — $52,780 from Pro Turf and $52,836 from Treemendous for 28 mowings — and voted to award the contract to Pro Turf. Although the bids were close dollarwise, Pro Turf’s bid included $25 per additional acre compared to $65 per acre from Treemendous. “It’s a one-year contract,” said Councilman Cliff Wood, who chairs the parks and recreation committee. “We have the ability to do it for two additional years in 2017 and 2018 if we choose.” Wood said the city will look at whether they want to do their own mowing at the end of this year. Mowing season usually begins in mid-March around St. Patrick’s Day and ends around mid-October. “We monitor it,” said Parks and Recreation Director Andy Rawls. “If we get an early warm up it will start earlier. Or if we get a late frost or freeze or whatever, I will let them know when to start.” On a related matter, the council also gave their okay for Rawls to go ahead and buy a Kubota ZD326S mower for $12,058. “We budgeted $13,000 for it,” Wood said. “So we recommend he be allowed to order that or it be picked up if they have it in stock.” The council also acted on a recommendation to allow Rawls to buy a Kubota MX5200DT front end loader for $28,124 which was not in the budget. “Andy brought it up at the last council meeting and I asked that it be tabled until we had a chance to look at our mowing contracts,” Wood said.

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